Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous

2022 What a s**tshow – Finale

To describe this year as challenging would be something of an understatement to the level of calling the grand canyon a bit of a ditch. I have come close to cracking more than once and joy and calm have been things that were seldom found. That said, I am trying to look at things in a more positive light and can look back at the year with a more cheerful disposition and look at the good things that 2022 have brought.

So it has been a strange and emotional year, so much of it tied to the house and our continuing drama regarding the living situation. I’ve spent my life so far living in other people’s homes, from my parents’ house to being a tenant and for the longest time that was okay, but a few years ago when our landlord passed away suddenly and all of the certainties and plans that we had disappeared. We had to start looking for a more permanent solution, which we couldn’t really get started on until we knew what was happening with what we had thought of as home. It was a stark reminder that although it was our home, it was not our house.

This has been a hard thing. Not knowing for the first time where I would be living in 6 months and maybe having to say goodbye to the only home that my son remembers was a hard thing. It took a toll on our lives on several levels almost to breaking point in some places. But this year was were it all changed. I write this at my new desk in a new room in a new house. In front of me is my collectibles and stuff to my back and left is a display case with mdidore stuff in it. Things have worked out.

For the entirety of 2022 I have worked in a Gisele free office. My old manager made much of my working life miserable and it’s only been this year that her impact on the job has faded away. Now I am part of a 5 man team with me, Disney Princess and Lil Jem under Posh Spice (I didn’t give him that nickname) and Donna and this has been the easiest December in work in a very long time. I have had problems, but these have mostly been overlap from home stuff. As soon as we closed on the house, things got better. We may be a 4 person team next year for a while after we got the news that Disney Princess is expecting, but knowing how things are now, we will cope and I can only wish her well.

Another great positive was SuperSam. As his final jnr school year came to an end, it was more clear that he needed out of there. Problems with bullying, balls ups from every non teaching part of the school and some friction with his teacher for that year we were glad it was his last one. We learned in spring that he got into a school nearby which does focus on sport and science. Given his love of science and being active this was not unwelcome news and we were only more impressed with the open day and the couple of testing days he did over the summer. With clear anti-bullying procedures and a higher degree of communication it was somewhere we were glad for him to go. Then came the scary part of his going to school alone. With google maps and a couple of test runs we had the logistics sorted, but the parents among you internet people can attest to how that doesn’t blunt the fear in any way and for the non-parents, well you wouldn’t understand anymore that I would have in my 20s and that’s okay. But precautions were taken and off he went into the next great adventure.

We needn’t have worried. He has thrived with this new semi-autonomy. And in the first month in this new school, he had more good days that he had in the previous school year. Its a bittersweet thing watching him group up so much, he’s gone from the little boy who needed you for everything to being able to go to school alone, come back alone, wash dishes, iron his uniform and at times cook a simple meal or two. I miss being needed so much, but as so proud that I’m not. It’s not been perfect, but I am so proud of him. So being a dad this year has been a tremendous positive.

Am also on my diet thing, as well as having lost nearly 40lbs in weight (wow that sounds impressive when you put it like that) I have also lost 4litres of visceral fat from my internal organs. That’s the same as two big bottles of fizzy drinks. I have dropped a shoe size, a shirt size and depending on the pants I wear two sizes in trousers. I am a 36″ waist for the first time since I was 36 years old. The battle isn’t won, but I have less of a belly than in years and feel better about myself because of that.

The last three years has been an exercise in surviving. But since the end of October its become about living again. I am hoping to be doing more writing, although what form that takes is as yet unclear, maybe it’ll be here, maybe the book I’ve been working on since…… yeah that’s been a long time. It’s time to use this fresh start and enjoy things again. The feeling of working together on the house, talking more, having fun together and such is what we went on holiday to enhance and it seems that this is all possible here. We even have a hot tub again. Maybe we should have moved years ago, but it felt like giving up on our home and we’re not people who do that. I drilled into my son the idea that the only time you fail, I mean the only time is when you give up. Every thing else is a setback. But we needed to fight for something other than bricks and mortar. Home is the people in your life, not the four walls they inhabit with you.

So this year has been something of a fresh start and a launchpad for betters years ahead. I get to leave a house with my name on it every day, pass several trees and go this is mine. I don’t know what the future holds, but honestly I’m optimistic. Wow, am optimistic, when did that start happening?

So 2022 what a s**tshow may not be accurate. Maybe it’s more we turned it around. I am wishing for a better year this year, not because I can’t do another year like the previous, but because I genuinely thing this will be better.

Come on 2023, lets see what fun we can get up to.

See you soon internet people, be good to yourselves, so you can be good to eachother.

Posted in Miscellaneous, TV Stuff

2022 What a s**tshow – Part 3

To describe this year as challenging would be something of an understatement to the level of calling the grand canyon a bit of a ditch. I have come close to cracking more than once and joy and calm have been things that were seldom found. That said, I am trying to look at things in a more positive light and can look back at the year with a more cheerful disposition and look at the good things that 2022 have brought.


I have enjoyed this year the audio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s famous Sandman comics, in fact I have been listening to the 3rd volume this week. However I was even more pleased to see it come to television as well. Well cast and well realised this was faithful enough to the comic, but different enough to justify it’s existence as its own thing. Mostly telling the first half dozen stories as one thing it tells the story of Dream, one of the Endless entities (including personifications of Desire, Delirium, Destiny, Despair and Death) who is held captive for over 100 years and must free himself and reclaim both his post as lord of the Dreaming and his power. It’s not light by any stretch of the imagination and the themes and events are for the adults in the audience, but it’s well worth trying.


This was suggested by the MIGHTY Rosie and I will be honest, I wasn’t keen to try and yet we did. This was so much fun. Moments of drama, humour and horror blended so well that you laughed and took a breath several times without the tone being disjointed. The cast was perfect and the story kept you guessing and had a couple of red herrings that made you suspect how it would play out, but still managed to surprise you. It was fun and for the most part the whole family could enjoy it.

Book of Boba Fett

This was at first a hard sit. It was slow and ponderous with an over-reliance on flashbacks to give the story shape. I mean the cast was good, no one is questioning that, but I’m not too sure that this was a story dying to be told and it looks like the makers of the show realised it too because the last two episodes seemed to change from being the 1st series of Book of Boba Fett and became the 3rd series of Mandalorian. At that point, the series became more action packed and above all fun, It’s a hard sit for the 1st 4 or 5, but it does end with a bang. I don’t know if all of these Star Wars shows aren’t a waste of time, but at least this was fun.


I read Spriggan stories years ago as part of some Manga anthology years ago. This was high concept sci-fi stuff with modern man finding artefacts from a pre-historic era that ended with mass destruction. The only message from this older time was a warning to not make the same mistakes again. A group called ARCAM use enhanced operatives to find and hide away these things that have the capacity to destroy the world.

Doctor Who

As part of SuperSam’s cultural education, myself and the MIGHTY Rosie have introduced him to the post reboot Doctor Who and over the last week or two have finished watching the first season, bringing and end to the Christopher Eccleston run and in the new year we will start with David Tennant’s tenure (the MIGHTY Rosie’s favourite) and hope to talk more about that as we go along.

In closing TV has been pretty solid this year, but not too much in newly produced stuff I must admit as looking back at TV we enjoyed before, or watching older stuff that we didn’t see at the time seem to be how things are going forward, but still there was some good stuff there.

Next Time: But what about everything else?

Posted in Miscellaneous

2022 – What a s**tshow – Part 2

To describe this year as challenging would be something of an understatement to the level of calling the grand canyon a bit of a ditch. I have come close to cracking more than once and joy and calm have been things that were seldom found. That said, I am trying to look at things in a more positive light and can look back at the year with a more cheerful disposition and look at the good things that 2022 have brought.

The Batman

I will be honest, I was somewhat surprised at how good this film was. Being told that a Batman film which was near 3 hours long and featured the guys who played Gollum and the vampire from Twilight should have left me with a no thanks attitude. But after some good reviews from different people and with the knowledge that much of it was filmed here in Liverpool gave me reasons to give it a try.

Damn it’s worth a try. From the visual design of a city in decay to the brutal action sequences and the haunted a obsessive portrayal of Batman this was a really enjoyable Batman story that whilst offering very little new to the franchise was a great film in and of itself rather than a way of launching new films.

Black Adam

With this film having Hawkman and the JSA in it, there was no way I wasn’t going to see this film. I would like to say this didn’t disappoint, I still would.

The negatives here are that the JSA in this is for the most part superfluous and this seems to offer them up as a potential spin-off idea, rather than vital and essential characters. There’s an odd pacing and a mix of tone and there’s a lot of padding in the last third that could’ve been removed.

The positives are that we got to see a Hawkman, Pierce Brosnan is amazing as Kent Nelson/Doctor Fate and despite what was expected, Dwayne Johnson pulled off a more serious performance as the grim humourless Teth Adam. He plays the anti-hero well and rather than be the film’s achilles heel as I expected, he was instead one of the strongest elements. We may not get more of this as the ongoing media drama from Warner continues, but I am glad we got to see this.

Bohemian Rhapsody

I managed to catch this on Netflix, rather than get an early night one day this month. A bio-pic about Queen, it showed the band from it’s beginnings in the 70s to Live Aid. I imagine much of this was a bit on the fictionalised side of things, but the film really rose and fell on the performance of Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. From voice to looks and mannerisms, he nailed the character and breathed new life into the legend. As well as a great rags to riches cautionary tale, this film had the excellent soundtrack one would expect.

Doctor Strange & the Multiverse of Madness

I watched this as part of a MCU/Spider-movie rewatch with SuperSam and the MIGHTY Rosie as I hadn’t gone to the pictures to see this. To be honest I haven’t gone to the pictures to see a MCU film since Endgame and I honestly don’t see myself changing that anytime soon. This was fun. We had the whole multiverse thing, a resolution of Wanda’s story lots of cool visuals and concepts well realised on screen. The stand out moment for me was the Illuminati with Captain Carter and (a proper costumed) Black Bolt as well as a Monica Rambeau Captain Marvel (unpopular opinion: a better and more interesting version than Carol Danvers) Professor X and the fandom wished for John Krazinski as Reed Richards looking and playing the part so well that I had the desire to punch him the second he came on screen. It was a lot better than the Iron Man retread that was the first film. It was also nice to see Bruce Campbell again.

Thor: Love & Thunder

I have enjoyed many Thor comics over the years from the wonder of Kirby, to the epic glory of Simonson and the scope and drama of Aaron, there have been lots to love. Thor himself however, is a bit boring as a character. The first two Thor films were quite faithful to the character and despite Chris Hemsworth doing his best with what he had, the films were less than the successes the others were. Somewhere during Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hemsworth’s portrayal changed and became a lot more interesting and funny. I don’t remember where I read/heard it, but it was pointed out to me that he wasn’t playing Thor as much as he was Marvel’s Hercules. Fun-loving, a bit goofy and prone to drink his worries away he became more relatable a character and allowed more humour to come into the story and we all benefitted from that and a new director in the form of Taika Waititi. This more humorous tone was thrust into Thor: Love and Thunder and it ….worked?

The action scenes were good, the overall story seemed to work and the concept of heroes rather than gods was handled well, but at times I wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be a comedy or not. But one thing I did like the most about it was that it was a nice line under Thor. If they did nothing else with him it was a strong finish. He went from overly serious an irresponsible to a strong and responsible hero who didn’t take himself so seriously. I would probably watch another Thor film, but honestly if they left it here, they did a great job.

So that was my year in films, a couple of cinema visits and some streaming releases and more and more it looks like quality over quantity.

Next Time: TV

Posted in TV Stuff

Calling for a Doctor: Christopher Eccleston

Whilst as a personal project, I have been watching Doctor Who from the beginning and am currently on the home strait for William Hartnell, as a family I, the MIGHTY Rosie and SuperSam have started watching NuWho from it’s first episode Rose which first aired in 2005.

This was something of a risk in the TV landscape of 2005, Sci-fi on TV was not at it’s height and the Marvel Cinematic Universe was still a few years off, so this had to be something of a passion project or the showrunner Russell T Davies. He brought it back, but had to do things a little different.

The first thing he did was with the writing push the companion more into a starring role. Instead of the old exposition prompt and damsel in distress he made the companions more like friends who were being shown cool stuff rather than the props that some of them had been,

He also changed the aesthetic, gone was the victorian dressing and posh Doctor who tried to avoid any trace of accent. In it’s place was Eccleston sounded like a northerner because he was. They even hung a lantern on it with the exchange “If you’re an alien,, howcome you sound like you’re from the north.” “Lots of planets have a north.”

With that fresh take, we got more fun and more humanity to this alien wanderer. Eccleston’s Doctor was the last of his kind, lone survivor a war across time. The Last Great Time War. He is haunted, angry and in need of something or someone to bring him out of it. Then came Rose who was looking to escape her life of shopwork, chips and her safe relationship. Two people who needed one another and who were both equally changed despite the 880 year age gap. This was sort of a love story and the story of redemption.

Despite only getting 13 episodes, you saw this Doctor go from dismissive and angry to caring and actually quite sweet. He gives up his chance to escape his most feared and hated enemy to save Rose and gives up his chance at vengeance to save the population of a future Earth. In the end he finds peace and then is glad to become someone else because of this human.

I don’t know if he is ‘my doctor’ or if I even have one, but he brought Doctor Who back to where it had been 20 years earlier which was must see TV. He brought the madman in the blue box back and restarted his hearts. My son was enthralled by the series and was sad when the Doctor ‘died’ after the words “You were fantastic and you know what, so was I.” Yes you were Chris.

Without this Doctor, we wouldn’t have the Doctor back and the new start it gave the next guy wouldn’t be there. Building on that, the best was yet to come.

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Miscellaneous

2022 – What a s**tshow – Part 1

To describe this year as challenging would be something of an understatement to the level of calling the grand canyon a bit of a ditch. I have come close to cracking more than once and joy and calm have been things that were seldom found. That said, I am trying to look at things in a more positive light and can look back at the year with a more cheerful disposition and look at the good things that 2022 have brought.

I made a little challenge for myself to see how many comics I would read in 2022. This would have the benefit of showing what I was reading and pushing me to read more and enjoy more. Just scant days before the end of the year I crossed the threshold of 2,500 and my question becomes do I try and top that in 2023?

This was another year where I didn’t actually buy any new comics. Now I bought comics (how else would I feed the addiction) but none of those comics were ones that were produced in 2022. So in a section that is about the new comics I read in a year, what do I put in this post?


I missed out on Milestone when it launched as a DC imprint in the 90’s. I recently read the first trades of both Icon and Hardware. At first glance they seem to be a superficial black version of established characters, but were actually interesting ideas that used analogues of established heroes to great effect.


From the tongue in cheek Moneyshot to the tense Shadecraft to the epic mystery of Ordinary Gods and the dark fantasy of Die, I have tried to give a few more independent comics a try and for the most part this has been a great success and has left me with the desire to try more new comics next year, or at least new to me.

Licensed comics

From the less than amazing Robocop: Dead or Alive to the spin off of the Jack Campbell series I have enjoyed Lost Fleet: Corsair to the 1980s UK Transformers comics and the surprisingly good Doctor Who comics from Titan it’s been a good year for spin-off material. Often tie in material is lack-lustre or a cheap cash grab but there’s a lot of interesting stories that play in someone else’s sandbox.

Collected editions

I made the shift years ago to digital comics. I still own many (many many many) comics and trades, but I check the deals and sales on Comixology and this year I used these to add some trades and epic collections to my reading pile and collection. I’ve added classic X-Factor, a number of Spider-Man collections as well as some 90’s Avengers and 90s X-Men as well as an almost complete run of the Mark Waid Flash run that cemented Wally West as a fan favourite.

The 90s

It has definitely come to my attention over the last year that my favourite era was in fact the 90s. I know that the 90s were a time of excesses, creative and editorial mistakes and more than a few trends that should never have been. But I enjoyed comics the most during that period between 1989-2009 and whilst I have read some amazing comics produced before and after, that was the time that I liked best.

So that’s my year in comics, less bought, less new, but more read and I’m pretty happy about that. It’s about finding your joy and I think I have done just that.

Next Time: Movies Did I even go the cinema this year?